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Trip Report

Posted By: sxmbeachlover

Trip Report - 04/16/2019 10:32 AM

Our first time back post Irma, and yes we did have many reservations about returning:

Arrival at SXM Juliana was quick and easy. We just had carry on luggage, so can't comment on retrieving luggage. Walked out and Hertz man was waiting for us. Whisked us to their office, signed papers and were off to our condo.

Condo complex was still under construction. Our unit was beautifully and completely "rebuilt" on the inside, but no pool and construction noise during business hours. NO HOT WATER, however, we got used to the luke warm tap water for bathing.

Had WONDERFUL meals at Yellow Sub, Le Piment and our favorite, Bistrot Caribes. All were Excellent!

Orient Beach is gorgeous, and we were pleasantly underwhelmed by the damage still apparent from Irma. We were very glad that we returned.
Posted By: Cincinnati_Kid

Re: Trip Report - 04/16/2019 10:41 AM

I stayed at Divi Little Bay last fall. My impression of the island was similar.
Still the same wonderful, wonderful island, despite some damage remaining. At this point no one should hesitate to return !
I love 💕 this island !
Posted By: RonDon

Re: Trip Report - 04/16/2019 12:17 PM

ditto Cincinnati
Posted By: SXMScubaman

Re: Trip Report - 04/16/2019 12:42 PM

Where did you stay?
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: Trip Report - 04/16/2019 01:12 PM

Thanks for the report. Was there no hot water for the entire complex or just your unit?? I would not have been happy about that!!! Where did you stay?
Posted By: SammyM

Re: Trip Report - 04/16/2019 02:21 PM

Sounds like you may have stayed at Mont Vernon? Just a guess. Curious about how you visited the island with no luggage. Did you simply make sure all your toiletries were 3 ounces or less, or just buy everything once you reached St. Martin? In the past when Club O. was alive an well you certainly didn't need to pack much (if any) clothing if you chose to stay on the grounds, but you can't dine at the places you mentioned without clothing on (especially Bistrot Caribes!). I'd love to be able to forego baggage fees with the airlines, but that never happens to us. Are there any tips you can share?
Posted By: RonDon

Re: Trip Report - 04/17/2019 12:24 PM

Originally Posted by SammyM
Sounds like you may have stayed at Mont Vernon? Just a guess. Curious about how you visited the island with no luggage. Did you simply make sure all your toiletries were 3 ounces or less, or just buy everything once you reached St. Martin? In the past when Club O. was alive an well you certainly didn't need to pack much (if any) clothing if you chose to stay on the grounds, but you can't dine at the places you mentioned without clothing on (especially Bistrot Caribes!). I'd love to be able to forego baggage fees with the airlines, but that never happens to us. Are there any tips you can share?


We travel 2 people with a carry on each, for 2 weeks. Also a large pocket-book type bag as my pocketbook personal item allowed by airline, filled to the brim with items, and hubby takes a camera bag for electronics as his personal item. I pack all thin material, no iron clothes for me and use plastic bags that you roll out the air. Bring one pair sandals, one beach shoes each and we ware sneakers on plane, only one bathing suit and cover each, 3 pairs underwear and use the plan: one wear, one washed, one drying after hand washing. The third pair is incase the washed out didn't dry in timely fashion. Pack minimum in the 3 ounce bag for TSA then buy on island. I think that's about it.

Our clothes consist of 4 pairs shorts, 3 slacks (2 slacks for hubby since he has one pair of shorts he refuses to give up if not in bathing suit) and the slacks he wears on plane.. 5 tops. Hubby takes those underarmor things that wick away and dry in an instant---no cotton which is heavy and take too long to dry. He packs one button down shirt for dinner at a nice place such as Mario's. As to dressy stuff I figure at home we dress for the day and those clothes stay on for at least 8 hours so what we bring to SXM covers 2 four hour dinners.

When we stayed at DIVI there was a laundry room so I packed and did laundry once per week but not every place has laundry.
Posted By: RonDon

Re: Trip Report - 04/17/2019 12:29 PM

PS I forgot that we both also bring Tilly hats for the sun. They crunch up nicely then keep shape. I stuff those wherever I find room.
Posted By: SammyM

Re: Trip Report - 04/17/2019 01:58 PM

Thanks RonDon for the insights. I will share this with my wife. That's amazing you can fit all that stuff in two small travel suitcases! The obvious key is having an affordable laundry room at your disposal, but when were on vacation my wife takes a firm stand against doing laundry! On our last trip to SXM we did take one small suitcase (mine) for the overhead bin, but once again the suitcase we call 'Big Red' came with us packed to the brim at a lofty 48 pounds. Cost us $30 to check each way, but if the airlines start to jack around with these costs (for checked package in the future) we may me following your example.
Posted By: BillandElaine

Re: Trip Report - 04/17/2019 02:01 PM

We used to do three weeks with carryon only. Rinsing things out in the sink doesn't really count as "doing laundry" in my book! handshake
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: Trip Report - 04/17/2019 02:13 PM

Sammy--it depends on where you stay, but if you check with your maid, you may well be able to have someone do the laundry for you. One thing we have discovered in recent years at Beachside Villas is to let your maid know that you want laundry done. They send it out and it comes back clean and folded the next day. We usually send out a whole basket full of stuff and have not paid over $10 for it. Now, obviously, we don't give them anything delicate, etc., but have been very pleased with the service.
Posted By: SammyM

Re: Trip Report - 04/17/2019 02:22 PM

Thank you all for this info. In reality I'm okay with paying $60 for a one big suitcase, but I have premonition that this may be the next area where the airlines will be targeting for additional fees. Some now charge a fee for carry-on bags, though most do not. I'm thinking their next step may be based on the actual weight of the bag you are checking. For example, something like $1 for each pound your bag weighs above 30 pounds. This really isn't so far fetched IMO. I never thought airlines would charge a fee for seat selection, either. But, everything you guys are sharing is valuable and that's what forums like this one are for.
Posted By: bizzottom

Re: Trip Report - 04/18/2019 09:36 AM

couldn't agree with u more cinci kid
Posted By: Tom

Re: Trip Report - 04/18/2019 11:09 AM

It's interesting how many of us take less and less each year for our SXM vacation. We went to 2 carry on cases for our 3 weeks a number of years ago when we discovered the laundry just down the street from Sunny Day grocery. We can usually drop off before 9AM and pick up around 5PM the same day.
Posted By: Renee

Re: Trip Report - 04/18/2019 12:31 PM

So...For carry on only...Instead of full size bottles, do you just pack a few 3 oz bottles of shampoos, toothpastes, lotions, etc or do you shop on the island? Would love to try to do carry on only for our 10 days.
Posted By: BillandElaine

Re: Trip Report - 04/18/2019 12:35 PM

Yep, a bunch of 3oz bottles. There's two of us and you can put a bunch of those trial sizes in 2 quart bags.
Posted By: Renee

Re: Trip Report - 04/18/2019 12:42 PM

A light bulb just went off....Why I never thought of that is beyond me. Now I'm up for the challenge...Between 2 carry ons, my purse and tote bag, and hubby's backpack we should be good. Game on....LOL
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: Trip Report - 04/18/2019 12:58 PM

Renee--so long as that purse fits inside your tote bag! Often these days (and I salute the trend!!) airlines are strictly enforcing the one carry on bag and one personal item rule.
Posted By: BillandElaine

Re: Trip Report - 04/18/2019 01:01 PM

Get the bags with the square bottom, they are so much easier to fill to capacity. Renee, your purse has to go in your tote in case you didn't know. I actually take everything important out of my purse and put the purse in my suitcase, it doesn't take much room lay it on the top. The contents go into the tote.
Posted By: Renee

Re: Trip Report - 04/18/2019 01:18 PM

Yes, of course. That's right. I remember. So many great tips Elaine. Thank you so much!
Posted By: SXMbeacher

Re: Trip Report - 04/18/2019 02:11 PM

You can do it Renee. We just returned from a 10 day trip for the 3rd time with carry on only. This last time we cut back from previous years and still took more than we needed. It did help that we had a washer for half our stay, but we still would of been alright with out it. Those suck down bags are the answer. We even pack snorkel masks and Yeti cups to boot!
Posted By: Renee

Re: Trip Report - 04/18/2019 03:51 PM

LOL SXMbeacher. I'm so determined. Thanks for the tips!! From what I understand BSV has a send out laundry service if need be. Bathing suits during the day and sundresses in the evening that I can wear a few different times. A few tanks and a pair of jean shorts. Easy peasy...
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: Trip Report - 04/18/2019 04:05 PM

Yes, you can get laundry done at BSV. Just tell the maids that you want laundry done. They pick it up and send it out. It comes back the next day, clean and folded. We normally send out a whole clothes basket full of clothes and have never paid more than $10, plus tip, which we just give to the maid the next day. Obviously, don't send anything delicate. We've always been very happy with that service.
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